The day we welcomed our third handsome little man, Cruz Tommaso Japuncic, into the world. I wanted to write his birth story down before I forget it all in the big blur that is labor. So here it goes. . .
Sunday, June 12, being 9 days past my due date I was getting cranky and anxious for baby to arrive. Even though my first two boys were 10 & 7 days past their due dates and I was expecting this one to be too, it truly felt like he was going to stay in there forever.
At this point I had been having braxton hicks contractions more often and a couple random contractions here and there for weeks. Mike and I had been trying just about everything (walking, spicy food, pineapple, sex, birth ball) to encourage labor to begin. Two days ago at our 41 week appointment our midwives suggested drinking the induction cocktail. My first thought was YUCK and not again but since I was ready for baby to be here, I did it!
First thing in the morning I drank the cocktail around 10:00am and then we waited and waited some more. Nothing was happening, not even a twitch. At 1:00 Linda, one of our midwives called to check in and see if anything was happening. She recommended taking a second dose of the cocktail around 2:00. The waiting game continued after the second cocktail. Mike and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and waited some more. Linda had said if nothing happened to take the cocktail again around 7:00pm for the final time. Around 6:30 my parents invited us for dinner at their place and since nothing was happening we walked over. While my mom was putting dinner on the table I started to not feel very good. I laid on the couch and paced in the bathroom for a few minutes and quietly told mike I thought he should eat… Fast! With no appetite I stood at the door while Mike tried to enhale his dinner.
We walked back home pausing a couple times on the way. As soon as we got home I felt my first real surge. Mike ask what he could do and immediatly I asked him to fill the birth pool. Two minutes after the first surge came another. I went from zero to 100 and knew this was it! After the third surge around 6:50pm I paged Linda and told her I thought she should come now. After one more surge she was in my bedroom. As Mike filled the pool I swayed back and forth in the bathroom using my surge breathing while listening to my birth affirmations. Linda checked baby’s heartrate inbetween surges a coulpe times. I was very focused, relaxed and in my own zone at this point, I couldnt tell you what time it was anymore. As soon as the water was the right tempurature I got in the pool immediatly. Once I was in the water I allowed Linda to do an internal check to see where I was at, 6-7cm and fully efaced! She called Rachel to come and assist.
Being in the water took the edge off the surges. Inbetween surges I felt like I was floating with waves swirling around me. It was such an amazing way to experience birth. Mike was by my side the entire time offering me support. I held his hand the entire time in the pool through each surge. Rachel and Linda were very encouraging and told me to listen to my body and helped me breathe baby out instead of pushing. My water ruptured right before baby’s head came out. Birth breathing & the very few pushes only took a few minutes.
Then finally our baby, Cruz, was here. Born at home in the water at 8:33pm, 9lbs 8oz 21in and just perfect. He was so calm when Linda pulled him out of the water and put him directly on my chest and in my arms. Mike saw gender right then but held in the excitement until I looked for myself, a BOY! Mike cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. Shortly after that I handed off the baby while I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta. Rachel and Linda helped me onto our bed to get cleaned up and examined. Baby was dried up from the water and given back to me as soon as I was on the bed for more skin to skin. Newborn instincts are incredible, within 15 minutes of being born he crawled and wiggled his way to the breast immediatly and started nursing right away! Linda heard him suckling and seemed completely blown away when she asked if he was already nursing. There we were, Mike, me and our little baby boy in complete awe of this amazing little man we brought into the world. In the moments after he finshed nursing he had this adorable tough guy look and was throwing little jabs and hooks with his little fists, like a little boxer. By 10:30 the house was cleaned up and we were alone to spend time with our new baby.
Cruz’s birth was everything I hoped it would be. I had the water birth at home that I wanted. Only 1.5 hours of labor (fastest one yet!), and I felt like I managed the surges really well and maintained control throughout my entire birth. My support team was wonderful, especially my amazing husband. He rushed around to get the pool set up and make it the right temperature. He was there the whole time for me to lean on and squeeze his hands. They all kept me motivated, hydrated and made sure I ate after giving birth.
Noah & Joey met Cruz the following day and were incredibly proud big brothers right away. Everyone has adjusted really well so far and we are really enjoying this newborn stage since it goes by way too fast.
Welcome to the world, Cruz! You are the perfect addition to our family and our hearts are so full of love for you.